2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

October Accomplishments

I thought I had already written a post with my October accomplishments, but didn't find one, so here goes: 
- Quilted and bound red and white snowballs
- Added sleeves and labels to my 4 show quilts
- Quilted French Braid baby quilt (Mom - I need the pictures!)
And..all done at my Shipshewana retreat
- Cut out and pieced my version of the Crossroads quilt
- Bound Lois' Stack-n-Whack top
- Bound Christmas D4P with the 2 color binding
- Quilted mini block
- Made pumpkin table runner
- 2 wonder wallets

The front half of the month was really top loaded between prepping quilts for the show and the retreat and I didn't sew at all for the last week and a half of the month. Even with that time off, I totaled 31 1/2 hours.  Not bad, even if most of it was at retreat :) 

An Overdue Stash Report

Last time I did a stash report, it was the end of October and I had bought a little new fabric at retreat and our quilt show...except I forgot about the fabric at the quilt show, so it is time to count that now - just a yard for a panel. 

I also used a little fabric since last time - pulled a back for the table runner that I have on my list to quilt this month, started a Christmas present, and made a quick purse to take on vacation. 
New purse - only problem is that it was too small to hold my wallet, phone, and camera! 
So, for weeks 45-46, here's the result: 
Fabric added last two weeks: 1 yard
Fabric used last two weeks: 1 1/4 yards

Fabric added year to date: 22 7/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 71 yards

Net used: 48 1/8 yards

I also finished sewing the binding on my mini-block, so it is ready to turn in for the 2015 quilt show auction! 
Mini block for the next quilt show auction! 
Hope you've had a good few weeks with your stash! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My review of the two-color binding

Back in March, at our bee retreat in Danville, I finished my disappearing four patch top. As soon as I finished it, Pam suggested that I use two color binding to make the red pop a little. She sent me a link to the directions and I carefully made a bookmark for future reference. I read the directions and cut my binding in preparation to take it to my retreat. 
I pulled it out at the retreat, ready to go. I started around 10:30, so planned to have it done before we left for lunch.  I sewed my strips together, started to press them, and realized the size was off. I am not sure if I cut them wrong, or if they just didn't work like they were supposed to, but decided that I better trim down the seam allowance to make it work. After I sliced 1/8" off of the length of the binding, I was doing a little swearing and thinking that it better work, because this was taking way more time than I planned. I got the binding sewn to the back of the quilt before we left for lunch - so much for my best laid plans. 
When we returned, I pulled out my wonder clips (don't you love these little clips? They are great for hand and machine binding) and got to work.  Look at that lovely corner, where it comes together just perfectly! That didn't happen on all four corners, but they were pretty close. 
Whew, finally done. I have to admit that, by the end of the afternoon, I was annoyed that it had taken so much time, but also really pleased with the end result. 
When you look at it straight on, it looks okay, but when you peek at it from the side, that little flange really pops! 

After I got done with all of it, someone asked if I could have achieved the same result just using a flange which was sewn down when sewing on the binding....probably! And it probably wouldn't take all that effort either! Another option would be to use piping. No matter which way I do it in the future, I am glad to have tried it and glad that I like the end result! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Four Things - November

The last time I did a "four things" post was at the beginning of September. I laid out my goals for September but never reported them, so it's time to catch up. 

Here were my goals for September - and how I did on them: 
1. Mail everything - baby quilt, giveaway, and donation quilts - I got the giveaway and donation quilts mailed. I still need to get the address to mail the baby quilt, so it remains on the list! 
2. Quilt graduation quilt for my mom - Yes, had this completed by Sept 2! 
3. Make back for and quilt Red and White Snowballs - I made the back in September, got it loaded, then let it sit on the frame while I waited for inspiration.
4. Pull out and make some progress on one of my UFOs - I made the back for and quilted my Christmas Disappearing Four-Patch. The funny thing is that, when I originally wrote this goal, I was thinking I'd piece something, but when I looked across my UFO list a few weeks later, I realized that most of my projects are stuck at the quilting phase. That is a little ironic considering I have my own longarm, isn't it? 

At the start of October, I wrote down my goals, but didn't blog about them. Here they are along with the progress that's been made: 
1. Quilt, bind, and label snowball quilt - Done, although the label on it is just the quilt show label, I did get it finished in time to hang in the show. 
2. Quilt baby quilt for mom - Done, although I don't have any pictures of it - Mom took a few, so when she sends them, I will include them in a future post. 
3. Pre-cut for retreat - Done! I got my crossroads top and my binding cut and prepped before retreat.  If you don't usually pre-cut before going to a retreat, I highly recommend it. I like to do it because (allegedly) I pay more attention and am less likely to make mistakes (not the case this time), and also because I can move ahead more quickly on my projects at retreat. 
4. Finish a quilt top - Done! I finished the Change of Plans top at retreat - now to get a back made and quilt it....guess I got one off the UFO pile just in time for another to take its place :) 
For November, I had to really think about what I want to make some progress on, and I think I have a good list: 
1. Quilt and bind pumpkin table runner
2. Make 2 Christmas gifts
3. Finish blanket/accent stitching on snowmen blocks
4. Bind and label mini-quilt (this will get me way ahead of the game for the quilt show in two years as I planned to donate it to this year's quilt auction but didn't get it done in time). 

Hope you're making progress on things that make you happy! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October Cookbook Challenge

October is Mike's birthday month, so it was his turn to choose the cookbook.  Anyone who knows my husband well shouldn't be surprised to hear that he picked The Brewpub Cookbook: Favorite Recipes from Great Brewpub Kitchens. I did a quick scan through the cookbook at the beginning of the month and selected about a dozen recipes to try, but October turned into a pretty busy month for us and I didn't do a good job of meal planning in advance.  Add that to the complexity of ingredients (nothing crazy, just things we don't normally have on hand) and it turned into a pretty lean month. 
We did make three recipes through the month: 
1. Bay Shrimp Pestodillas (Prescott Brewing Company in AZ) - this was an easy recipe to make and called for baking the quesadillas instead of frying them.  I really liked the way they turned out and would make them again - just for us or for a group. 
2. Italian Meatballs (Pete's Place, Krebs, OK) - Mike cooked these up for us and they took longer than we thought they would - the recipe didn't have a time noted, just an internal temperature. We'd had spaghetti with meat sauce the night before, so we ate them plain.  They were tasty, and I think they'd be even better with some red sauce or even a gravy. 

3. Badlands Pork Tenderloin (Rattlesnake Creek Brewery & Grill, Dickinson, ND) - this was a recipe that involved making marinade one night, then letting the pork sit in it for a day. It was a soy/honey/ginger/orange marinade, and while it was good, it was a little salty (we even used low sodium soy sauce). 
There are several additional recipes that I'd like to try from this book, but most of them will be weekend recipes because of the time/steps required. There are a few good stew/soup recipes that I hope we'll try over the winter. 

That's all for October - we've already picked our November book and it looks to be the perfect one for this season! 

Retreat Projects

Since I showed you all my purchases and additions Sunday, I thought I would take some time today to show you what I worked on during my retreat.  As usual, I took far too many projects! I started with my blocks for the Crossroads quilt that 4 of us planned to make. Unfortunately, as I cut my fabric, I realized part of the way through that I'd cut it incorrectly. I decided to assemble the blocks anyway and then figure out what to do. 

On Thursday, our first day, I got all the blocks put together. Once I had them together, I was getting tired, so decided to pull out a table runner kit that I brought with me.  I got all the fabric fused and cut and then called it a night - for sewing at least! We hung out together for a while and went to bed way too late! 
Show and Tell - Karen and Muffet both finished their Crossroads tops!
My goal for Friday was to get a couple quilts bound.  The first is the Stack-and-Whack quilt from Lois' UFOs.  Jill quilted it for me and did a great job on it.  I had the binding made already, so it only took me about 45 minutes to get it sewn on. I decided to bind both sides by machine. Next up was my Christmas disappearing nine patch. For this one, I decided it would benefit from the two-color binding technique. I will do a full review of that later, but (spoiler alert) it took forever and was much more time consuming than I had planned. 

Needless to say, by the time I got it done, it was late in the day and I was a little fried. My mom and I went back to our room for a nap and I really could have stayed there and just gone to sleep at 7pm, but we had show and tell and door prizes to return for. After I got going again, I went back to the table runner and got it finished.  It will be the next project to quilt for me and I hope to have it done in time for Thanksgiving. 

I knew we'd call it a night soon, so I decided on a quick project - quilting a mini-quilt.  It went quickly and I was pleased with the result. 

Saturday morning, I woke up refreshed and ready to go back to my Crossroads blocks to see what I could do with them.  It took me a few tries to get the right size connector square in the middle of the blocks so that they would wind up square. 

I had to fiddle with a partial seam, which took a little time, but it was worth it in the end. Here's the final result of my top, which I will call "Change of Plans." I really like the fall colors and they will go well with our new couch. 
Last up for this retreat was a couple wonder wallets.  I made purses that match these a few months ago and had the pattern and fabric hanging around. I got them both put together in about an hour and was able to gift the blue/green one to my neighbor for her birthday last week. I used mine over the weekend and it is great! I think these will become a staple in my gift giving. 
Wonder wallets

Me, Muffet, Pam, and Hannah
On Sunday morning, we packed the cars and headed west. Our group has started a little tradition of having breakfast together before we go to Erica's in South Bend. We tried a new place this year and had a great time recapping the weekend around our table. 

We'll be back together in March for our spring retreat and I look forward to that one!  
Mom, Kathy, Loralei, and Karen